Rules for Eating Sushi

There is a place where I live in town that has gotten some good reviews, but reviews by a lame source.  I won’t name the source or the restaurant.  I was there once before with a friend, but from what I recall the food was not all good and in fact I think I had a bad stomach ache afterward.  Normally I have a cast iron stomach.  So, that was a few years ago.  And recently I was at Nori across the street already this Summer, so I wanted to try something different and give this other place a 2nd chance.  Besides, it was 95F today for like the 5th day in a row (or at least it seemed it).  So, I get to the front door and its wide open.  That’s not good, I don’t like it ice cold, but even pretty cold would be welcomed.  So now I am in the foyer, that door is open also.  No one is in there except a waitress.  I took 2 steps into the foyer and walked back out hoping the lady would not notice me.  What restaurant or place of business in this heat wave leaves doors open and does not have the AC on?  Was it broken?  No matter what the case, 2 basic rules for sushi are 1) its in a well air-conditioned place and 1) you don’t go to a place that advertises sushi for half price.  As Anthony Bourdain says, that is basically food that should be in the dumpsters that only cats would enjoy.

So, I am now facing the main avenue again, I had a burger last night, the seafood place across the street is better known for their pasta dishes containing seafood, and I was not in the mood for “hot” food on a day like today.  So, I looked at Nori again — hey, if Tony Soprano can eat there several times a week, I can eat there again, its a sure-fire win.  So, I went in there and as usual the meal was great, just as it has been for years, even before it was popularized by The Sopranos TV show on HBO.

Sorry “that other place” I gave it a good honest try, but when dining out, especially in a tight economy, comfort is key.

I actually wound up getting the Bento Box with Chicken Katsu — I have not had it since my days in NYC, and its basically a very thin sliced chicken cutlet, Japanese style, but what is included is Miso Soup & Salad with Ginger Dressing; 8-piece California Roll; 3 Crispy Shrimp Shumai dumpling; scoop of Sticky Sweet Rice; Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura (5 pieces); Lo Mein; … sure, $25 is more than I wanted to pay, but where else can I get all that quality food, a virtual buffet of several Japanese culinary treats all for $19 plus tax/tip?    I did spend $2.50 on at the liquor store down the street.  I opted for the king size beer since it is a “bring your own”, but again, all this for around $25 is a good deal and far beat out the lousy burger & fries I had the night before for the same price.  The beer was ok… but why do they ask how I want my burger cooked if they are always going to bring it done well?  Why put a mix of cheddar & some white cheese if I asked for a cheddar burger?  Why tear a small pickle slice in half to make it look like 2?  Why call them beer battered onion rings when they are obviously frozen and way to uniform in shape/size to be anything other than frozen.  In any case, I did enjoy my meal at Nori… below is a photo:

Chicken Katsu

Nori Restaurant, Caldwell NJ


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